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 SAMUEL IRONSIDE  in New Zealand - 1839-1858  by W.A. Chambers 

 

 





SAMUEL IRONSIDE  in New Zealand - 1839-1858 

IRONSIDE was a Wesleyan missionary in colonial New Zealand. He arrived at the Hokianga
Harbour before Governor Hobson reached  New Zealand to proclaim British sovereignty.
His successive posts were at Mangungu on the  Hokianga, Kawhia, Port Underwood in Cloudy
Bay, Wellington, Nelson and Taranaki. 

He was a supporter and signatory of the' Treaty of Waitangi; he knew many of those who were involved in the Wairau "massacre" and he buried the victims; he observed the first flame of military attack and counterattack in the Hutt Valley in 1846; and he witnessed the inevitability of land troubles leading to inter- tribal and interracial war in Taranaki. 

Samuel Ironside was but one of many brave missionaries but his story is one of the rare ones that was recorded, in published memoirs and unpublished journals, thus enabling his biographer to present the man and his work as true to his time, his territory and his calling.
His life reflects the strength of nineteenth century Methodism in Britain and the dedica lion of the missionaries it recruited and despatched world-wide. It records the courage of the men and women who were set down in strange environments and amongst people who were often violent, when they were not actually at war. It demonstrates the extraordinary ability of these Britons to adapt to extreme changes of language, employment, accommodation, transportation, education, medicine and other customary amenities of "Home". 

The book reconstructs, through the life of one missionary, the effort to save souls; to provide education in language, agriculture and other skifis; to defuse inflamed encounters between Maori tribes and between Maori and Pakeha; to improve sanitation, health and housing, and thus to develop Christian civilisalion in New Zealand. All this excites admiration.